The Classic Double Standard

In our great quest to parent these children that we've brought into the world, we keep experimenting with various methods of incentives, punishments, and such like. One of these things (that we were totally unaware of doing) is comparison.

Let me just say that I know that you shouldn't compare your kids with other people's kids. If Little Johnny cuts his first tooth at age 3.5 months, I refrain from a) spazzing out on Little Johnny's mom because that's just freaky and b) saying that "yeh, well, my Becky has TWO just on the verge of breaking through. She may be later in actual cutting, but she'll have twice as many when she does." That's just not good parenting. Plus, it's stressful because we all know that worrying about things that I can't control is just making me old before my time.

I'm talking comparing as in, "You're not the only teenaged girl in America without a cell phone. Your cousin does not have one, and neither does your friend, Bertha." We were called on this by our own daughter. She claimed that it was NOT FAIR because we're comparing her to others. We didn't realize that we were doing this on such a widescale field, but apparently we were. I've been trying to make a conscious attempt to not compare. Instead, I just say, "I'm your mother." There's something she can't argue with.

But today she turned the tables on me. She asked if we could get a radio for the shower. Always hesitant to say "Yes, whatever you want, dear!" I instead asked, "why?"

"Well, my cousin and my friend Bertha each have one and they are allowed to be in the shower for the length of two songs. Maybe we could do that."

My first thought was, "Oh, she has a couple of nerves to compare herself to her friends like that." My second thought was, "hmmmm, maybe I should get one because it is a good idea. It would certainly cut down on the water wastage going on around here. And there's always the perk that will come with it. I can start comparing again, because she did it."

I'm thinking for her birthday she may be getting a radio for the shower. I'll relish saying, "just don't forget, your cousin and your friend Bertha only get two songs. You will now, too."

15 comments:

Aimee said...

Good idea on the song shower limit, but we all know that Bertha is the real instigator :)

Trisha said...

Here is hoping that the songs are not "American Pie" and "Behemian Rhapsody!"

ClumberKim said...

or Freebird

Karen Deborah said...

That's funny, hope the songs are 15 minutes each. I just asked Pa to put a water restrictor in the girls shower head because I'm sick of not having any hot water after they get through or just Piglet for that matter. IF you don't compare how do you establish what the "norm" is? Or is not?

Karen Deborah said...

Excuse me I meant to type "are not 15 mins each" my typing is as bad as my spelling but whose comparing?

Melissa said...

Oh Karen, you are just to sneaky for your own good...one more thing to love about you! :)

Michelle said...

Heh. I'm surprised you didn't call her on it right then and there. Be careful what shower radio you get though. We've had two and neither got FM stations; they can only pick up AM (which is ok for us old folks who listen to "traffic and weather together on the 8s").

The Sports Mama said...

My standard response to the whole comparison to the friends thing (when they do it, mind you) is to remind them of the biggest difference...THEIR MOTHER. I simply tell them that just as soon as I adopt all of these stray boys running in and out of my house and being driven hither and yon in my car, they too will lose all chances for a normal life.

Of course, in the interest of fairness, I do offer the boys the choice to go be adopted by their friends' parents. At which point they will no longer have rides anywhere, forcing them to walk. Everywhere.

I'll point out that my boys are both still living with me.

Flea said...

Oh I LOVE that idea! I am SOOOO doing that for my kids!

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Genius - both her and you! I am definitely going to keep the song limit in mind, though that might mean I would have to abide by the same rule . . . you know, if and when I ever get to take a shower that even comes close to lasting as long as two songs! The joys of parenthood!

Burgh Baby said...

That's actually sort of genius. I wonder if it would work on husbands who take forever . . .

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

{Evil laughter}

Awesome spin.

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

Know what's funny? I didn't actually know your post was about standards when we were emailing about standards. FUNNY. And, I love that the water usage would go down.

Trannyhead said...

Who the hell names their kid Bertha? Just sayin' ...

CC said...

Bwhahaha... you could always just give her an annoying timer! ;)